Arshdeep charges ahead at Noida Open Amateur

February 10th, 2009 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Noida, Feb 10 (IANS) Arshdeep Tiwana grabbed an early lead with a five-under 67 in the opening round of the LG Noida Open Amateur here Tuesday.

Arshdeep put up a great show with a birdie-birdie finish, returned a card of five under 67. Three strokes behind him was L. Selvadurai, who carded a round of two under 70. Close on his heels are two 19-year-olds - Abhinav Lohan and Pranav Kaul, along with the experienced Saurabh Bahuguna as they finished with an identical score of one under par 71.

One stroke further back are strong contenders in the form of Gagan Verma, Abhishek Jha and Rahul Bajaj. The trio finished level for the day with a round of even par 72.

Hyderabad lad Arshdeep, started from the tenth tee and had an up-and-down first nine holes. He made the turn at even par with three birdies and three bogeys.

But Arshdeep sank five birdie putts in his last nine holes. “I knew I was putting well but the big break came on the 6th. Having reached the green in two, I sank a monster putt that was about 70-80 feet in length.”

The charge came before that as he made birdies on the first and second hole.

With the 80-footer in hand after that and two more birdies on the last two holes, he opened up a three-stroke lead over the nearest contender.

“A lot of credit for this round goes to my caddie. Not only was he great with his advice on the greens, he also helped me a lot whenever I hit a bad shot and helped me stay focused,” he added.

Arshdeep came close to winning his first title on the LG Amateur Tour but fell at the last hurdle when Moin Malak pipped him to the post at the LG-Goodricke Eastern India Amateur. He also had top-10 finishes at the LG RCGC Cup and the LG Western India.

Tournament favourite Rashid Khan got off to a slow start with a round of two over 74, but was confident of making a move up in the remaining rounds.

The scoring in the first round was affected by the windy conditions and rain later in the day.

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